Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Incredibles

The weather here is beyond anything I've ever experienced in Alberta. While I'm sure it's never snowed in August here, I can't recall a time in Alberta that it snowed in the middle of the night and then rained the next day. It's just pouring out now and I can hear the recent snow accumulation on the roof sliding down(it's a metal roof) and landing with a thump next to the house. The dogs are happily ensconced on the couch under their binkies waiting for the rain to abate so we can go for a walk. Not like last Sunday when we were dragging ourselves through crazy snowdrifts. Even long legged Leeloo was having trouble, I can't imagine trying to walk through snow that was the same depth as the length of my legs ... plus I don't have 4 wheel drive like they do!

Still, it was delightful to watch them play and wrestle, smash and grab, gnash teeth and generally throw themselves about without the risk of them hurting themselves by crashing into the ground. That and they couldn't really get up a lot of speed.

Speaking of, it pains me to say it but everytime I look at this photo I giggle. Esme, of the four dogs, is the only one that will follow me no matter where I go. It doesn't matter what she has to do to get to me, she is going to at least try. She does the same thing with the Ridgebacks but I think that's more of a desire to not get left behind, which happens a lot due to the aforementioned leg-length issue, and that can result in some unfortunate situations. Remember the photo from the last blog of her powering through the snow? This is the aftermath; she gets going a bit too fast, or hard, or becomes careless, and ends up face-planting; she is often her own worst enemy. In this instance she nose-dived into snow but she has ground herself into the lawn before. Never one to be held back by speed bumps, she simply rights herself and plows on; we could all take a lesson from this determined little dog (and yes, that is her bottom sticking out of the snow).

But never fear, there she is at the back of the pack, a little black bundle of cords and bark, following the path made by the herd of Ridgebacks. She also follows my footsteps but makes it a lot harder for me to walk because she is impatient as well as tenacious, and is constantly stepping on my heels. Not an issue for the big brown dogs since they jut push me out of the way and break trail themselves.

Down in the woods that day, the snow wasn't as deep but unlike the lawn area, it posed its own problems of hiding all the fallen trees, dips, and roots that are normally quite easy to negotiate. Boy didn't mind, his usual standing about and looking handsome does not require one to navigate hidden booby traps.

His daughter is following her Daddy Boy's example. She is finally growing up, has come into heat again (after an 11 month break from her first heat) and will one day mature into what I predict is the nicest Ridgeback I've ever laid hands on. Here she was watching as Esme struggled up the hill we were climbing and although it appears she is concerned for Esme, Cora actually made a point of pouncing on Esme the second she crested the hill.

In a moment of weakness the dogs thought, after that hike out of the woods,that I was going to the house so, they beat me there. Not so. I wanted them to spend a little more energy in the snow so I could spend a little less energy entertaining them later in the day. I stomped away from the house through a few more drifts and forced them to follow, which they did in time, although I think The Boy actually rolled his eyes.

You didn't see Esme up on the deck because she wasn't. She was, as ever, right on my trail trying to keep up. You may feel sorry for little Esme, because it is much more work for her to get through the snow and she is so much smaller than the Ridgebacks, but fear not. Esme is possessed of about four or five times the amount of energy of the Ridgebacks and in the course of a normal walk, not involving snow almost 2 feet deep, she will travel at least 3 times the distance the Ridgebacks travel. So just imagine that the effort she must expend to get through these drifts, although slower and a little more cumbersome, is simply using up that excess energy.

Cora, at this point, had enough. It was windy, she was cold and it was time to go in. Esme was still ready for more but I took pity on the big dogs and we started to head in to the warm couch and some down throws for everyone to cuddle under (except Esme, she hates that, she's already wearing a throw).

I guess this turned into a blog about Esme, which is fine, because although she can be annoying, loud and pushy, she is incredibly interesting, smart and, as we see from this photo, full of herself. She has every right to be and if everything goes according to plan, this summer there will be little baby Esme's for people to fight over ... and they should, this is one incredible Puli.

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